The Thai Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) and the British Embassy in Bangkok jointly organised a focus group meeting on the topic ‘Enhancing Intellectual Property Management by Blockchain’. Thammasat University acted as an adviser for the project.
Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, is one of the areas where the UK is partnering the government of Thailand to support its effort in improving the business environment. The British Embassy in Thailand believes that blockchain has great potential to improve the business ecosystem in many areas including Intellectual Property (IP) management.
H.E. Mr. Brian Davidson said that the UK is a strong supporter of free trade, open competition and new technology adoption to create a more enabling business environment. Therefore, the British Embassy is very pleased to work closely with the Ministry of Commerce and Thammasat University on this project to explore potential use cases of blockchain technology for putting IP to commercialisation.
Blockchain technology can revolutionise or disrupt the economy, society, and politics in an unprecedented manner, including the area of public administration and public service provision, said Ms Pimchanok Vonkorpon, Director-General, Trade Policy and Strategy Office, Ministry of Commerce.
Importance characteristics of blockchain are:
the ability to send information to many stakeholders in the chain at the same time
difficulty in changing information once it is entered into the system
These will enable blockchain to create ‘Trust Building’ which is an integral part of the digital era trade ecosystem.
Focus group meeting on blockchain
TPSO believes that blockchain can be applied in many use cases that the Ministry of Commerce is responsible for especially those that involve registration, traceability, ownership, e-commerce, trade facilitation, among others.
Pimchanok said blockchain has great potential in reducing risk of fraud or contractual dispute between contracting parties and also lowering costs of transactions for SMEs and traders.
Therefore, TPSO has initiated study projects that explore feasibility of using blockchain technology in several areas including:
Today’s (31 January 2019) seminar focuses on the study of how blockchain can support intellectual property (IP) management.
Dr Arnat said that blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that can store various types of transaction data on the decentralised network by ensuring that the collected data is accurate, complete, secure, immutable and verifiable.
Blockchain technology can possibly be applied to enhance IP management by:
keeping IP registration data and IP transactions that detect evidence of ownership and authentication
identifying or authenticating a creator who owns the creatorship or the licensee
A smart contract provides a self-executed agreement between the parties and can be utilised to manage the whole process of IP from filing to licensing. Together with other technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things) IP management in Thailand can be significantly improved.
Eight possible projects are proposed under this feasibility study and are divided into 2 stages:
The other quick win project is to study and develop standard to store copyright database on blockchain focusing on literary works by collaborating with e-book service providers.
Several intermediate term projects are proposed, such as a project:
to evaluate IP values
to develop a system for Geographical Indication (GI) registration and management, including traceability system
In addition, there are proposals to develop IP management system on blockchain network for patents, trademarks and copyrights that include IP registration, IP right transfer, IP licence management, IP enforcement and IP as collateral using.
Ms. Pimchanok said,
TPSO will follow up and discuss with relevant organisations and stakeholders to seek collaboration for actual implementation of the project proposals.
We strongly hope to put blockchain into practice to enable Thai businesses and IP management to be up on par in the intensifying disruptive world.